Even if you do not know how your body works, you have very likely seen the connection between what you drink and eat with how you feel. It is why comfort food is so good on days when you are depression or why chamomile tea can help you with your evening ritual for many who have issues sleeping. Our mood and what we eat usually go hand-in-hand.
Psychiatrist Drew Ramsey is an expert on how your brain-body connection works. He is very well-versed in the toxins and nutrients that affect your brain, and has created a whole science-packed program and cooking class to aid people in changing their brain using food. (Although it is important to know he also supports therapy and medication, when needed.) Sine he is a brain health expert, he can apply what he knows to his own habits and daily rituals.
“When it comes to anxiety, first I go for what can keep my blood sugar steady,” Dr. Ramsey says. This is crucial, he says, because when a person’s blood sugar levels go up and down, it means your mood and energy will go up and down as well, which is not great for your anxiety. One food that does the trick? Nuts. “There are many nutrients in these, but one especially helpful stabilize blood sugar is the fat inside,” he says. Unsaturated fats are wonderful for your brain.
Here is what Dr. Ramsey puts inside his kefir smoothie: kefir, frozen blueberries, white beans, spinach, banana, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
Dr. Ramsey says the kefir inside is great for your gut, and anything that ups your good bacteria will benefit your brain too. Scientific studies have shown a relation between low bacteria diversity in people’s gut and higher rates of anxiety and depression.
The white beans adds creaminess and it has lots of fiber and protein. Protein gives your body the energy to fight dips when you are feeling down; fiber is another nutrient crucial for heart and gut health.
“The sleeper ingredient in beans that aids with anxiety is the potassium,” Dr. Ramsey says, adding that the banana is a good source of potassium too. Research has shown a relation between getting more potassium and having less cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. So you certainly want to through in the white beans and banana when mixing this recipe up.
Dr. Ramsey’s kefir smoothie recipe
3/4 cup plain full-fat kefir
1/3 cup white beans
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 large banana
1/2 chopped spinach
2 Tbsp raw, unsalted almonds
2 Tbsp raw, unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1. In the following order, put your kefir, beans, then water, then banana, blueberries, almonds, spinach, and pepitas into a powerful blender. Blend for around 30 to 45 seconds, until all these ingredients are incorporated.
Author: Steven Sinclaire